Lot n° 10
10000 - 12000
Hollow glass panel containing various decorations... - Lot 10 - Marambat - de Malafosse
Hollow glass panel containing various decorations relating to the prestigious career of Major General Pierre Hugues Victoire Merle (1766/1830), Baron d'Empire, on a bed of black felt.
It includes :
- an engraving of the general's bust in uniform and hanging decorations
- an embossed and chased silver Grand-Croix de la Légion d'Honneur Restauration plaque. Imitation semi sequined branches flanked by 5 beautiful fleurs-de-lis. In the center, the profile of Vert Galant, founder of the Bourbon dynasty, head to the right, surrounded by the text "Honneur et patrie" ("Honor and Country"). The center is joined to the star by folded legs, and is carried by a long toggle pin and two anti-tilt hooks on either side. Some cheekbones are slightly distorted, the badge needs cleaning. ( 70 mm X 70 mm weight 23 grams).
- a fine pair of Restoration gilt cannetille division general epaulets on black velvet settees, body decorated with vertical chevron embroidery of gilt thread crimp separated by sewn-in sequins. The periphery of the body is enriched with a festoon also in gold sequined embroidery. The shield is decorated with a symmetrical antique shield on a base of gold sequins, and a triangle of three rank stars, also in gold sequins. Two turnings, one small and one larger, run along the edge of the shield and support semi-captive bangs in large twists of gold cannetille. A large round brass button bearing two oval cartouches in relief under a crown and on a bed of crossed palms completes the epaulettes at the buttonhole.
- At the bottom of this composition are 4 Legion of Honor stars. All four with their original ribbons, heavily insolated (the color having turned pink).
In the center, a Restoration officer's Légion d'Honneur based on a third type Premier Empire gold officer's star, fluted ring, eight-flower mobile crown whose centers were changed when the regime also changed. On the obverse, an enamelled copper Légion d'Honneur Second Restoration center with senestrogyric profile of the good King Henri, and on the reverse, a chevalier de Saint Louis medal mounted upside down (sword point down?). The baron probably wanted to combine in a single decoration a symbol of the different regimes he served.
A reduction of an Empire-era star, its centers missing, surmounts the previous decoration and is mounted on a puffed ribbon.
In half size, an officer's star of the Légion d'Honneur 1st Empire 4th type. Pointed tips in perfect condition, but mounted upside down on its ribbon.
A half-size reduction of a third type Legion of Honor officer's star. Mobile crown, star mounted upside down on the ribbon. The obverse bears three fleurs-de-lys, the reverse no longer has its center, restoration of the enamel on the branches.
Attached is his brevet de promotion to the rank of brigadier general, printed on vellum (350 x 440 mm) in a glass frame. His service record and successive ranks are handwritten in faded, pale but still legible ink in a space reserved for this purpose. At the bottom of the document, dated 25 germinal de l'an II, is a dry stamp surmounted by Bonaparte's handwritten signature.
Also enclosed is his brevet de nomination au grade de grand officier de la légion d'honneur issued under the Second Restoration (February 2, 1816) (535 x 450 mm).
This remarkable officer served with glory under four regimes: Ancien Régime, Revolution, Empire and Restoration. Enrolled in the Foix Regiment in 1781. On October 24, 1792, Lieutenant Merle served in the Western Pyrenees army under General Moncey, rising rapidly through the ranks to become Brigadier General on April 14, 1794. During the Tolosa affair on Thermidor 22, he led a daring cavalry charge into the city defended by 8,000 Spaniards. Leading two squadrons of the 12th Hussars, he overwhelmed a cavalry regiment, taking 100 prisoners and capturing the town and its stores. He was awarded the Légion d'Honneur on frimaire 19, year XII, and the rank of commander on prairial 25 of the same year. He had two horses killed under him at Austerlitz, and was appointed division general on 3 nivôse. He took Valladolid during the Spanish campaign and distinguished himself at the Medina de Rio Seco affair. His feats of arms earned him the decoration of Grand Officier de la Légion d'Honneur and the title of Baron d'Empire. Wounded at Buçaco and Oporto. Placed on leave of absence on November 24, 1811, he returned to service for the Russian campaign on April 26, 1812, at the head of the French army.
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